Brooklyn, MI (Monday June 16th, 2003) - - ARCA RE/MAX series veteran Greg Sarff left Michigan International Speedway Saturday pleased after another solid performance in his Quaker Steak & Lube Ford in the Flagstar 200. After rain washed out...
Brooklyn, MI (Monday June 16th, 2003) - - ARCA RE/MAX series veteran Greg Sarff left Michigan International Speedway Saturday pleased after another solid performance in his Quaker Steak & Lube Ford in the Flagstar 200.
After rain washed out away the first practice session for the teams on Thursday, the Capital City Motorsports crew was disappointed as the team felt that the practice session was crucial and going to be one of the most important sessions of the weekend.
When the CCM (Capital City Motorsports) team arrived at the track on Friday, they were welcomed with overcast skies, and quickly began to prepare the No. 38 machine for the first of two practice sessions on Friday.
The Colombus, Ohio native posted the 32nd quickest time when the session was called. He piloted his machine around the 2.0 mile track in a time of 41.705 second amounting to a speed of 172.641 MPH. "We still need a second out of the car," said Sarff. "We're going to make some changes, and hope that helps and we'll see where we end up in qualifying.
In time trials, Sarff didn't pick up that second that he felt that he did, but actually lost some time around one of the biggest speedways on the schedule. Greg drove his Ford Taurus around the "Irish Hills" based facility in a time of 41.749 second equaling a speed of 172.459 MPH. While, he didn't think the time was good, it was fast enough to make it in the starting field for Saturday's event.
The former IMSA driver would be starting from the 33nd position in a diverse field consisting of 41 cars.
In "Happy Hour", the final practice session of the weekend for the ARCA tour, Sarff was hoping that the team would find something, as they tried to inch closer to the top of the charts. However, the change of weather would throw some curve balls for the race teams, as the sun began to pop out and increase the temperature on the track. The session would find the veteran driver with the 31st quickest lap, with a lap of 43.018 second transferring to a speed of 167.372 MPH.
"We're going to make some more changes, we want to do good for our sponsors and the team, we're missing something, but I think we'll be consistent on Saturday," Sarff mentioned.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series would take the green for the Flagstar200 shortly after 1:00pm, with Sarff beginning to make his march towards the front. It wouldn't take long for the first caution to fly, as on lap two, Ken Weaver lost control of his No. 96 sending it backwards into the wall collecting Livonia, MI native Brian Conz.
Sarff reported into the crew chief Jim Heiberger that he was fighting a push (meaning the car was tight) throughout the race track. Heiberger, a six year veteran team member informed his driver that the team would make a chassis adjustment during the course of the first round of pit stops.
The drivers returned under racing conditions on lap 15, with Sarff being cautious yet aggressive trying to advance his positions in the early stages of the race. By lap 20 he had moved into the 25th place position, while still battling a very tight car. The caution would wave five laps later as leader Kyle Busch blew a tire heading into turn one. The yellow flag was a welcomed sign for the CCM crew, as they were preparing for their first pit stop of the event. The stop consisted of four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment made by JB Hannah.
The field returned to green, with Sarff quickly advancing a position on the start. He would then fall into a quiet race mode as he battled with the cars around him and avoiding the six car accident in front of him on lap 67. Dan Shaver lost control of his No. 49, collecting rookie Christi Passmore, Andy Ponstein, Rick Carelli, Keith Murt, and Bobby Gehart.
In the end, Sarff would again be competitive, staying on the lead lap until lap 90, as Casey Mears, who was dominating the race would put him a lap down. He would be credited with a 16th place finish completing 99 of the scheduled 100 circuits. "It was a good race, we were still pushing badly, but we were able to have a good, solid run, and I'm pleased and happy for everyone," said Sarff would completed his third of six scheduled races this season.
It was a special weekend for the Capital City Motorsports team. Several sponsor representatives and the No. 1 Hit Radio Station in Detroit were all apart of the team's action throughout the weekend.
Bill Church, David Plevin, and families displayed their support on behalf of Quaker Steak & Lube on Friday and Saturday. Church and Plevin are partners in a New Quaker Steak & Lube that is scheduled to be opened in Pinellias, Florida located outside of Clearwater. The Grand Opening is planned for October 2003.
Jeff Vigar from Absolute Impressions who handles all the designs for the team, from the race car to the uniforms was also present for the race activities.
Representing Capital Spring Co, out of Ohio included Hoyt Lolla, Billy Hunsucker, and Brian Pieffer.
"It was great to have all the sponsors here this weekend, with their families and friends, this is what racing is all about," said Greg. "To me, these are not my sponsors, these are my friends," he added.
In addition to the sponsors, Capital City Motorsports also welcomed Detroit's No. 1 Hit Music Station Channel 955. Chad Mitchell of "Mojo In The Morning" and Channel 955 engineer Mark Matkovich enjoyed their first taste of action in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, as they walked through the garage, talked to several drivers and teams, and watched the race from pit road.
"It was great to have the guys from Mojo In The Morning stop by on Saturday," Sarff mentioned. "Both Chad and Mark are great guys and everyone in ARCA enjoyed having them here and we're looking forward to having them at more races this season."
The next event for Capital City Motorsports will be in August when they invade Nashville Superspeedway.